Thousands Of National Guardsmen Banished To Packed Parking Garages Following Inauguration
OPINION | This article contains political comments that reflect the author’s opinion.
Do you remember the tens of thousands of National Guards who were sent to the country’s capital before the inauguration? Do you remember how there were more troops in Washington DC than in Iraq and Afghanistan combined? Well, this should give you a pretty good idea of the current situation of these 20,000+ soldiers.
According to Politico, after the inauguration was completed, they were essentially relegated to overcrowded parking garages.
“Thousands of National Guardsmen had to leave the convention site on Thursday and are now taking their breaks outside and in nearby parking garages after two weeks of sleepless nights in which the capital was protected.”
A guardsman gave some devastating details.
“Yesterday dozens of senators and congressmen walked through our ranks, took photos, shook hands and thanked us for our service. Within 24 hours they had no further use for us and banished us to the corner of a parking garage. We feel incredibly betrayed. “
Apparently the soldier’s battalion had used the office building of the Dirksen Senate as a resting place and was “abruptly requested to leave the facility” the day after the inauguration. The unit was then relegated to a nearby parking garage with no internet, no cell phone coverage, an electrical outlet, and a bathroom with two cabins that would serve all 5,000 soldiers.
The Politico article explains:
“The troops are particularly concerned about being housed in confined spaces with limited bathroom access during a pandemic. According to two guardsmen, at least 100 guardsmen have tested positive for Covid. Some are quarantined in hotels. “
It seems hard to believe that the government of the man who is reputedly the most popular president in the country’s history would treat the troops just hours after inauguration. But there are pictures that prove the hideous treatment.
MILITARY SOURCE IN DC:
“For the past week my battalion slept on the floor in the Senate cafeteria. Today the Senate kicked us out and put us in a cold parking garage.
This is how Joe Biden’s America treats soldiers. “
– Benny (@bennyjohnson) January 22, 2021
Our troops deserve the greatest honor and respect for securing the Capitol and defending democracy this week.
This is incomprehensible and unsafe. Anyone who has decided to put our National Guardsmen in underground garages must be held accountable. pic.twitter.com/mBwpoog6YC
– Tim Scott (@SenatorTimScott) January 22, 2021
Hundreds of guards got into the Senate garage and inhaled exhaust fumes and Covid. The story comes up a bit pic.twitter.com/8OW4frePOh
– Alex Horton (@AlexHortonTX) January 22, 2021
And if you want to use the bathroom then pic.twitter.com/YXLawaqA0Q
– Alex Horton (@AlexHortonTX) January 22, 2021
Representative Madison Cawthorn released video evidence of pizzas being delivered to troops.
I have just visited the soldiers who were abandoned and insulted by our leaders. I brought them pizza and told them to sleep in my office.
No soldier will ever sleep on a garage floor in the US Capitol while I work in Congress
Our troops deserve better. pic.twitter.com/4attFqhRRJ
– Madison Cawthorn (@CawthornforNC) January 22, 2021
Indeed, the horrific treatment of service members in the country’s capital appears to be a bipartisan issue, as lawmakers on both sides have spoken out against the horrific treatment of the troops.
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If the guards need space, we all have empty offices now. I’ll offer mine right away. I am now speaking to colleagues to find more space.
– Martin Heinrich (@MartinHeinrich) January 22, 2021
This is absolutely unacceptable and abhorrent treatment by our brave and dedicated National Guard who responded to the call to service.
We need to ask for answers now and this needs to be fixed immediately. https://t.co/FyNUpFYJyX
– Elise Stefanik (@EliseStefanik) January 22, 2021
If this is true, it is outrageous.
I will get to the bottom of this. Http://t.co/CNBp055A91
– Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) January 22, 2021
Unreal. I can’t believe the same brave soldiers we have asked to protect our Capitol and Constitution over the past two weeks will be summarily ordered to evacuate the building. I ask for answers as soon as possible. You can use my office. https://t.co/GlSSx9nqXo
– Tammy Duckworth (@SenDuckworth) January 22, 2021
According to Senator Duckworth, she made calls and “was informed that the Capitol Police have apologized to the guardsmen and that they may return to the complex tonight.” In addition, a recent update from her stated that the last guardsman would vacate the parking garage before midnight.